Open the Advanced Search

White Campion

Silene latifolia

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Caryophyllaceae (Pink)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Fields, gardens, meadows, roadsides, walls, wasteland.

White, 5 petals
5 white notched petals, up to 3cm. Calyx is greener, narrower and twice as long as with Red Campion.
Light yellow or brown ovoid capsules, bearing numerous seeds.
Opposite, hairy, untoothed, lanceolate, dark green leaves. Basal leaves are stalked and the upper leaves are unstalked.
Carries a weak fragrant at night.
Other Names:
Bladder Campion, Bull Rattle, Cockle, Cow Rattle, Cuckoo Flower, Evening Lychnis, Flower of the Dead, Grave Flower, Thunder-flower, White Bachelor's Button, White Catchfly, White Cockle, White Robin, Wide-leaved Bladder Catchfly.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Silene latifolia, also known as white campion or white catchfly, is a species of flowering plant in the carnation family. It is native to Europe and Asia, and has been introduced to other parts of the world as a weed. The plant is known for its small, white flowers and hairy leaves. It grows well in a variety of habitats, including fields, gardens, and waste areas. Silene latifolia is a herbaceous plant that can grow up to 1 meter in height. It is commonly found in disturbed areas and is considered an invasive weed in some areas. The plant is toxic to livestock, and can cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested.


White Campion (Silene latifolia) is a flowering plant species belonging to the Caryophyllaceae family. It is commonly known for its white, star-shaped flowers and delicate appearance. This species is native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia, but has been introduced to many other parts of the world, including North America.

White Campion is an herbaceous perennial plant that grows up to 80 cm tall. Its leaves are lance-shaped, fleshy, and hairless, and its stems are usually square in cross-section. The plant's white flowers, which are about 2.5 cm in diameter, have five petals and are arranged in spikes at the tops of the stems. White Campion flowers bloom in late spring and early summer, attracting a variety of pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and moths.

One of the notable features of White Campion is its ability to grow in a variety of habitats, including meadows, pastures, roadsides, and along riverbanks. It is able to tolerate poor soils, partial shade, and even salt-spray near the coast. However, it prefers well-drained soils and full sun exposure.

Despite its delicate appearance, White Campion is a highly invasive plant species. It can easily spread and outcompete native plant species, leading to a decline in biodiversity in affected areas. For this reason, it is considered a noxious weed in some countries, and efforts are made to control its spread.

White Campion is a beautiful flowering plant species that is known for its delicate appearance and star-shaped flowers. While it is a highly invasive species, it is still valued for its ornamental qualities in landscaping and gardens. However, it is important to be mindful of its invasive potential and to take steps to control its spread in natural areas.

White Campion has also been used for medicinal purposes throughout history. The plant's leaves, stems, and roots contain a variety of compounds, including alkaloids, tannins, and flavonoids, which are believed to have medicinal properties.

For example, in traditional folk medicine, an infusion made from White Campion was used as a sedative and to treat conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, and digestive problems. The plant's leaves and stems have also been used as a poultice to soothe skin irritations and wounds.

In addition to its medicinal uses, White Campion has also been used for food in some cultures. The plant's leaves and stems are edible, although they are not commonly consumed. They have a slightly bitter taste and are often used in soups, stews, and salads.

Despite its ornamental and medicinal uses, it is important to note that White Campion is toxic to livestock and can cause a variety of symptoms, including digestive problems, heart issues, and nervous system disorders.

White Campion is a versatile plant species with a long history of use in medicine, food, and ornamental horticulture. While it is highly invasive and toxic to livestock, its ability to grow in a variety of habitats and its ornamental and medicinal properties make it an interesting and unique species. However, care should be taken to control its spread in natural areas, and it should only be used for medicinal purposes under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

White Campion is also used in the study of plant biology and ecology. For example, researchers have studied the plant's invasiveness and its impacts on native plant communities. This information can be used to develop effective management strategies to control its spread and minimize its negative impacts.

White Campion's ecology and growth patterns have also been studied in the context of environmental change. The plant is sensitive to changes in environmental conditions, such as temperature and moisture levels, and has been used as a bioindicator of these changes.

Furthermore, White Campion is an important food source for many wildlife species, including birds, small mammals, and insects. Its flowers provide nectar for pollinators and its seeds are consumed by birds and small mammals. This makes White Campion an important species in the context of ecosystem functioning and wildlife conservation.

White Campion is a species of much ecological and biological significance. Its ability to grow in a variety of habitats, its role as a food source for wildlife, and its sensitivity to environmental change make it an important subject for research and conservation. Despite its invasive nature, White Campion plays an important role in many ecosystems, and its study can provide valuable insights into the functioning of these systems.

White Campion is also used in horticulture and landscaping, and its delicate beauty has made it a popular choice for ornamental gardens. There are several cultivars of White Campion available, each with its own unique characteristics, such as varying flower color, petal size, and growth habit.

In addition to its ornamental value, White Campion is also used in wildflower and naturalized landscaping projects. When planted in appropriate conditions, it can provide a mass of white flowers in late spring and early summer, adding beauty and interest to any garden.

Gardens and landscaped areas can also provide important habitats for wildlife, and White Campion can play an important role in supporting these habitats. By providing food and shelter for pollinators and other wildlife, White Campion can help to support local biodiversity and maintain the health of the ecosystem.

White Campion is an important species in the context of horticulture and landscaping. Its delicate beauty, combined with its ability to support wildlife habitats, makes it a valuable addition to any ornamental or naturalized garden. When planted in appropriate conditions and managed carefully, White Campion can provide years of beauty and ecological benefits.

White Campion is also a popular subject for photographers and artists, due to its delicate beauty and unique characteristics. The plant's white, cup-shaped flowers and delicate, lance-shaped leaves make it an attractive subject for photography, painting, and other forms of artistic expression.

In addition to its ornamental value, White Campion has cultural and historical significance. The plant has been used in literature, art, and folklore for centuries, and has been mentioned in works by Shakespeare and other famous authors. White Campion has also been used in traditional folk medicine, as previously discussed, and its historical and cultural significance should not be overlooked.

White Campion is a valuable species in many different contexts, and its study and cultivation can provide a wide range of benefits. Whether used for ornamental purposes, food, medicine, research, or artistic expression, White Campion is an important species with a rich cultural and ecological history.

In conclusion, White Campion is a fascinating species with a wide range of ecological, cultural, and ornamental values. Its delicate beauty, unique characteristics, and historical significance make it an important subject for study and appreciation. Whether grown in a garden, captured in a photograph, or used for research, White Campion is a species with much to offer.


White Campion filmed in Sizewell, Suffolk on the 1st July 2022.


Please remember to Like and Subscribe to the WildFlowerWeb YouTube channel at

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map